AMLO proposes disappearance of the National Institute for Transparency INAI

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President Andrés Manuel López Obrador proposed the disappearance of the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (Inai) so that its functions can be absorbed by another institution already created such as the Superior Audit Office of the Federation or the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. With this, he assured, the annual cost of one billion pesos that is the Inai budget could be allocated to people in need.

During his conference, he referred to the current paralysis of INAI due to the lack of designation of members: “Ever since it was created, the agency has not helped at all to combat corruption, on the contrary, they have served to legitimize theft and hide information and since that Institute was created it costs one billion pesos per year. Hopefully, congress will do something so that this function can be carried out by other institutions of so many that there are”.

When expressly asked about the situation of the INAI, he said that his proposal is “so clear”, that the functions of the Inai be transferred to another institution, since he considered that this institute was created by the conservative bloc, by the so-called civil society, as a front for “cover up acts of corruption” and implement their new public policies “

In 2002, two years after the end of one-party rule, Mexico passed its first federal transparency law and created the agency that eventually became the INAI, as the transparency institute is known.

Since 2016, an online portal for information requests to government agencies has received more than 8 million submissions. During the most recent fiscal year, the INAI resolved more than 18,000 appeals.

The institute also protects citizens’ rights to access personal data, such as medical records and sanctions private and public entities for stealing personal information.

In March 2022, the Senate began receiving applications from the public to fill two vacancies on the commission. The Senate, which is dominated by the president’s party, Morena, didn’t select the commissioners until last month, and only after an order from a federal judge. López Obrador then vetoed the appointments, claiming that the candidates had been selected for political reasons.

After the vetoes, a commissioner retired at the end of March, leaving the INAI with four commissioners — one short of the quorum required to meet.

It’s unclear whether the Senate will vote again before its long summer recess begins on May 1. Ricardo Monreal, the head of a senate committee that decides which candidates to bring for a vote on the Senate floor, has said that senators from the president’s party have kept the vote from moving forward.

On Tuesday, senator Xóchitl Gálvez from the PAN opposition party hung a banner in the Senate with the words “What is Morena scared of?” and “#TransparencyNow.”

The INAI has petitioned the Supreme Court to order the Senate to nominate new commissioners, who must now be approved with a three-fifths majority, and to meanwhile allow the body to convene with only four members.

In a meeting, three of the commissioners said that the INAI functions as a fundamental check on government power. It “empowers society to pressure the government to be transparent, to pressure the government to be accountable, and it allows society to participate in public decisions,” said Ibarra, the president of the commission.

On Thursday, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights sent a letter to the Senate urging that it appoint commissioners.

Mexican journalists have also called for an immediate resolution.

Source: La Jornada

The Mexico City Post